Stresa Tours

10 reviews
Lying on the western flank of thin, wispy Lake Maggiore, Stresa is an elegant resort backed by the Alpine foothills of Monte Mottarone and beloved of travellers for the grandiose hotels spread along its tree-lined promenade. Summer sees lidos bordering the lake and visitor-thronged craft markets on Thursday afternoons; come the balmy evenings the cobbled streets of the town are equally packed with locals and tourists alike enjoying a passeggiata (nightly stroll) before they settle down to dine al fresco in leafy Piazza Cadorna.

Once the hang out of literary stars Charles Dickens and Ernest Hemingway, the jewels in Stresa’s crown are undoubtedly the three miniature Isole Borromee (Borromean Islands) just minutes away across Lake Maggiore by ferry. Owned by the all-powerful Borromeo clan since the 12th century, today they exist in a Baroque time warp; while Isola Bella and Isola Madre both boast extraordinary 17th-century palazzi decorated with unbelievable decadence and surrounded by formal terraced gardens – built as the Borromeos’ private pleasure grounds – every inch of Isola dei Pescatori is smothered in miniscule churches, art galleries, souvenir shops and fish restaurants with lake views at each turn. The aristocratic Borromeo family ruled over tracts of Lombardy for centuries, building another elaborate palace at Rocco Borromeo on Maggiore’s southwestern shore; Archbishop Carlo Borromeo was canonized in 1610 and a vast bronze statue stands in his honor at Angera. 

Practical Info

The tourist office is at Piazza Marconi on the lakefront and opens daily from 10am to 12:30pm and from 3 to 6:30pm. From November to February, it is closed on Sunday. Ferries to the Isole Borromee also leave from Piazza Marconi. Stresa is linked with Milan by 20 trains a day and journey time is about 90 minutes. Boats operated by Navigazione Laghi leave Arona at the southern tip of Maggiore and take 40 minutes to reach Stresa. For drivers, the A8 runs west from Milan to Sesto Calende near the southern end of the lake; from there Route SS33 follows the western shore to Stresa. The trip takes just over an hour, much longer at the weekend in summer. 
Location
Address: Stresa 28838, Italy
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Lake Maggiore Day Trip from Milan

Leave urban Milan for the day and spend some time at picturesque Lake Maggiore, located in Italy's Lake District. Explore the chic town of Stresa, learning about the area's history from your guide and perusing the shops. Then hop on a boat for a 2-hour cruise around the lake, and take in the scenery of the water and surrounding mountains. Visit the Borromean Islands – Isola Madre, Isola dei Pescatori and Isola Bella – before making the return trip to Milan.
  • Duration: 9 hours
From
USD79.41
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  • Duration: 9 hours
From
USD79.41

Private Tour: Lake Maggiore and Borromean Islands Boat Trip from Stresa

There’s no better way to see Lake Maggiore’s Borromean Islands than by private boat. This 1-hour tour allows you to travel in true Italian style around Isola Bella, Isola Madre and more. As you bask in the sun, your captain navigates the boat on a route that takes in sights of the islands’ lakeside gardens, palazzos and private villas. If you want to learn about the area as you cruise, upgrade to include a guide.
  • Duration: 1 hour
From
USD47.95
See Details
  • Duration: 1 hour
From
USD47.95


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